Author in the Spotlight: Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco was born on July 11, 1944 in Lansing, Michigan. Her mother’s family were Jewish immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine. Her father’s people were from the county of Limerick in Ireland. Both cultures valued and kept their history alive by storytelling. Patricia has earned a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in Art and Art History. She has studied in the U.S., England, France, Russia, and Australia. To date she has written and illustrated over 115 books for children. She is also a playwright and is in the process of penning for adults.
In Our Mothers House, Marmee, Meema, and the kids are just like any other family on the block. In their beautiful house, they cook dinner together, they laugh together, and they dance together. But some of the other families don’t accept them. They say they are different. How can a family have two moms and no dad? But Marmee and Meema’s house is full of love. And they teach their children that different doesn’t mean wrong. And no matter how many moms or dads they have, they are everything a family is meant to be.
What motivated you to write a book(s) that is specifically inclusive of LGBTQ families/issues?
I was visiting a school and I was invited to hear a 4th grade class read their essays called “My Family”. The teacher left the room and left an assistant in charge. One little girl stood up to read her essay and the assistant said to her, “No you do not come from a real family.” The child was crushed and mortified, and I was embarrassed for her. After the class I found out that she had two gay mothers, and I went back to my hotel and wrote the book. It happens that my own daughter is gay, so I am very sensitive to this kind of discrimination.
What do you personally feel makes a family?
I personally feel that LOVE is what makes a family!
What does “equality” look like to you?
Equality means that you do not have to explain your existence
Whose books do you admire and why?
I admire all Authors and the work that they do. My most favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird”
What’s coming up next for you?
What’s next? The next book! “The Bravest Man in the World” it is about the musicians on the Titanic.